Campus HVAC Assessment Summary | UIC Today

Dear colleagues,

After months of challenging work by teams of dedicated OVCAS employees and contractors, I am pleased to report that all UIC buildings and spaces will be ready for the start of the fall semester on August 23, and we are confident that all ventilation systems in our buildings work well. We were able to significantly increase both the amount of fresh air introduced into each building and the overall ventilation rate. This means that all buildings have improved air exchange rates. We have also been able to improve the level of air filtration in many buildings.

From the start of the pandemic, OVCAS employees from different functional areas, including Heat, Light and Power; the Environmental Health and Safety Office; Planning, Sustainability and Project Management; and procurement, procurement and materials distribution, worked with contractors, consultants and vendors to keep UIC buildings safe for those learning and working on campus.

The HVAC assessment project, an important part of our campus response, ultimately involved more than 40 different collaborative groups.

Although this presented a challenge and a steep learning curve, OVCAS teams seized the opportunity. In record time, they outlined project scope, opened communication channels and established processes that met ever-changing CDC guidelines and state requirements, and considered the unique and dynamic needs of our many campus areas, which were divided into five physical locations: UIC East, UIC West, Peoria, Rockford and UIC Law. Weekly update calls were held to share progress, plan for the next week and address obstacles, helping to quickly resolve issues and keep the project on track, even despite delays due to national problems with the supply chain.

The assessment and work is now complete. High-level work on UIC’s Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, and Law School campuses is as follows:

  • 98 buildings have been assessed
  • 513 air handling units and 494 unit fans have been assessed
  • The airflow in more than 4,200 individual rooms has been tested and balanced

Our reports and ventilation assessment information for specific rooms are available online and OVCAS engineers will continue to monitor system performance and perform preventive maintenance throughout the semester.

I would like to personally thank the OVCAS staff, and in particular the HVAC team, who have remained on campus for the past 18 months – after vacations and other free time – to ensure the safety of the campus community. I couldn’t be more proud of everything they’ve done and continue to do, and I hope you are too.

Please email ovcas@uic.edu if you have any questions or need additional information about this project.

Best,

John Coronado
Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

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